tv Local 10 News 1000AM ABC March 22, 2016 10:00am-11:00am EDT
he was the tenth suspect. he was detained in belgium last week and no one has claimed responsibility for today's attacks, but belgium is at its highest terror level. >> here at home, officials are saying that operations are normal, but at heightened alert. officials recommend allowing extra time if you're traveling today. we also know that president obama has been briefed onn the attacks has he continues hik historicvisit to cuba. >> we will have his speec coming your way in just a few minutes. let's to havana and our colleagues, calvin hughes is right there for us this morning. calvin, what a change this this day. >> there's no doubt what has happened in brussels is not lost on us backk here in havana. let me tell you what the white house has said so far. the president was apprized this morning of the explosions in brussels, belgium. u.s. officials have been and will continue to be inlose contact with their belgian counterparts
information and updates as we are able to do so. and once again that's coming from the white house press pool. so the president no doubt has his mind on what is happening across the world in brussels, belgium, but he certainly has a big speech today. this is be the culmination of a historic trip that he has made here to havana, cuba. after arriving on sunday just after 4:00, but then on monday, he laid the wreath at the jose marti memorial and then soon after that we heard the starspang el barn banner by -- >> two of them back to back with raul castro at the revolutionary lace. there they talked about a number of issues from strayay and commerce to counter narcotics to the environment and also about cuban doctors, about how cuban doctors are able to help not only the people in haiti but folks around the world. but a number of other issue that
the first meeting in more than a half century betwewe the two leaders, and then on from there it was the news cference that everyone is talking about. the newsonference where raul castro was given some tough questions aut political prisoners. the president used to answering questions, r rl castro, he was not, so he had a very antagonistic tonight toward the cnn reporter who was able to ask him about the political prisoners and then castro respondingnd saying that it is not correct to ask me about political prisoners. in fact, he went on to say, provide me with a list and human rights a activist groups around the world -- for simply expressing their views and protesting for how many rights. right after tt news conference the president then came here to old havana to a brewery in solid havana meeting with cuban entrepreneurs, young people, aspiring business owners and those#who do have their own
the private sector in cuba's econom is one of the fastest growing in terms of people having family operated businesses. so he came here, the president came here to old havana to talk with them just about their future and the@promise of possibly having goods from arica coming here to cuba to buy and sell. and then after that the president had a state dinner at the revolutionary palace. his day ending where it began, where the president was able to meet with raul castro and other mbers of the cuban government. not to mention secretary of state john kry was there as well and the congressional deligation that included minority leader nancy pesi. i do want to say the importance of the president's speech today on natnal television, on cuban state run television is so important because for so many years, if you recall, even dating back to the 1990s when cuba's economy looked like it was going to collapse as a result of russia pulling out, the u.s. has been blamed so much for what has gone
not to mention people not having running water or their homes falling apart and not being able to have cars. all of that has been blamed on the e s. and for the first time in the history of this country a u.s. president will be able to give its side of the story and the president will have to strike the right tonight to tell the ople -- not to sound offensive, but simply to tell themour economy is going to be open to our economy. and you have to think 10 to 20 yeyes from now the cuban people may be agitated about the fact that even though american goods re able to come here, they may not be able to see some of the benefits of that. if you think for the last several decades here, you know, the socialism and communism is much more than the politics of economy. it's a psyche. it's a belief t`ey are being controlled by the government, so
for the last several decades and now for the first time an american presidede will be able to come and give its side of the story. >> calvin -- are you -- if you think back to the 1 1960 -- >> let's share that with you right now. we see both deligations there. they appear to be walking into the national theater. the president just stopped to shake hands with a v vy elderly woman and they paused and had quite a conversation with her and now we're looking at the american and cuban flags together set up at the podium right there inside the national theater.& calvin, this is actually -- the correct name is the. and it is -- it's right next to the saratoga hotel for those who
they know that it's in a place where -- it is accessible to so many people and not to mention, laurie, some historical significance here. barack obama is not lost on history. ends that he hikes to stay on script. so as a result back in 1928, calvin coolidge spoke there and now the president is about to speak there as well. calvin, i think victor is standing by in old havana. victor, can you tell us where you are and what's happening is there. >> you can actually see the and i can tell you that we've been out here for a new hours now and early this morning, we saw hundreds of plain clothed security guards out here, that's what you can call them. they're really just in plain
and i wear on a normal day. on the other side just down the street where they're all walking is the saratoga hotel. it's a well-known hotel that calvin was talking about. the crowds i canell you have been gathering substantially for the past hour now. he is now walking into the el gran teatro havana. >> i think we may have lost -- victor,,o we still have you therer >> w while we're waiting to restablish contact, i think it's important to observe that this was going to be the most important day i think in president obama's schedule during this two and a half day visit to cuba, the day in which he speaks to the cuban people, then he meets wi dissidents, those are
have been eclipsed by this tragedy in brussels, belgium, where 31 people have died. that is the latest count. it's probably going to go up. that story is going to knock this cuba visit off the front pages of papers around the world. it remains. the visit to cuba remains of huge interest to those of us in south florida and we are glad to be able to bring you the president's speech live and then later we're going to get something from that meeting with the dissidents. calvin, we know that the president has been briefed on this brussels visit. have you heard anything about whether he is expected to make separate remarks or that will likely top his remarks to the cuban people this morning? >> from what we understand the president will addss what is happening in brussels, belgium,
people who have died as a result. at the top of his speech and then he will move on with his other comments that he had prepared for the cuban people. >> calvin -- >> he will address what's happening in brussels, belgium. >> excuse m on the screen, the split screen here on local10, you're seeing pictures of a woman who is a legendary cuban dancer and then for decades she has headed the cuban naonal ballet, one of the best ballet companies in the world. several of their graduate dance with the miami city ballet. alecia is in her 90s, she is blind and yet she remains an elegant grand dame who you see there. she's been consistently a supporter ofofhe castro government. >> and this theater is dimmed after her. so no wonder president obama took such a moment there to greet herand speak with her before he entered el gran teatro de havanan named after her. you saw her waving her hands in
she is quite the theatrical lady in her -- you say michael in her 90s. in her 90s now. >> and she's there in the crowd. victor oquendo, you're s sll out there. you see people in plain clothes. one thing that we've noticed is that there has to be coordination not only with the cuban security but also with the united states security. are you seeing both out there? so far the majority of the security that i have seen out here, janine has been on the cuban side. i can tell you that the crords are -- again they continue to grow out here and a lot of people don't even k know that the proceeds has already arrived at the theater which is right behind me. i just overheard somebody asking me, is president obama supposed to walk right by here? the answer is no, he's already inside judging by the live pictures right now that we've been bringing to you. again, you guys have touched on this, not only is this such an important moment in the
going to be speaking to the cuban people here on the island, but he knows that his message is also to the cuban-americans back he who will be listening to every single word he has to say closely. he knows what he has to say today, he's hoping will build some kind of support for the controversial trip and the renewed relations moving forward in the future. it seems like president obama was right on time. he's been pretty close or if not early as far as every scheduled visit so far on his trip. the crowds out here in old havana continue to grow. street traffic has been shut down. guys, this is a big moment that we'rell watching closely. >> and if he stays on time, that speech will begeg in about seven minutes. we do have calvin hughes therer live forou in havana as well. calvin, the president coming off the state dinner last night. did you learn anything more from the -- the pool reports and any other facts you would gather from that? it was such a different visual
states for a state dinner. >> we really haven't. therelease that was given by the white house press pool was mainly about who was the. the invitees from the cuban government. and a number of other dignitaries as well as secretary of ate john kerry, nancy pelosi, the congressman from new york. he actually had annteresting comment. he said he was told by an older cuban that there are two things that cubans really like about america, and that is its baseball and everything else. so that was one of the quotes that was in the release from the white house press pool, so arizona senator jeff flake was there as well. sheila jackson lee was there from texas. she's a congress woman. there's a large bipartisan deligation here that's accompanying the president and
girls were not there last night. >> we're seeing cuban leader president castro to take a seat. the entire audience was standing, turning backyards, looking up into the balcony now to wave to raul castro and hees waving back with bruno rodriguez. the crowd is giving him a standing novation in his red tie and dark suit and we are waiting the guest of honor, the speaker of the day, president obama any moment. >> i have been in the el gran atro de havana and it is truly grand. it's an opera house, a little down at the heels like so many other things in havana, but the structure itself is just magnificent. >> there you see the cuban and american flags awaiting them raul castro signaling to everyone to please sit down. he is flanked there by some of his vice presidents, some of the different diplomats we have seen taking part in this historic
>> we know from ben rhodes, the deputy national security adviser that the white house speech writers haveveeen working for weeks on this speech and what we expect among other things is the president to say, we are not your enemies. we areryour friends and your neighbors. we want to help you. we're not here to impose our will on you, but we are good neighbors and we want to advance this relationship. >> although what we learned from yesterday was that there are still some very deep guides tween these two countries that perhaps cannot be bridged at least for now. and what an interestiti visual this is. the leader of communist cuba is sitting in the audience listening to an american president speaking at this theater. but in the balcony, in his seat, no doubt, and everyone knew where to look. everyone knows where he sits and now we await the president. and michael, that tonight -- tone of being friends is what senator john kerry tried to get across
well and in english to the cuban pele when the embassy opened. >> yes, i think that the tone that secretary kerry strucuc is generallying going to be the tone that the president will take. what will the president say to the cuban people about human rights? i m%an, that is the crux of what we are going to hear right now. how strong will it be? our experts have said don't expect a tear down this wall, mr. kruschev moment as ronald reagan did in berlin. but he's got to say something strong otherwise this diminishes in its impmptance. >> we want to give you one update from brussels. the two minute warning we're waiting for president obama to come. the latest we are getting right now out of brussels, the breaking news in europe. 34 people now dead in these teor attacks. at least two explosions, one in the airport, one in the petr.r.
you on this and no doubt thepresident will be speaking about this as well. >> and i imagine -- excuse me. i imagine the first remarks by the president will of course be about the tragedy in belgium. yesterday when he pointed out the death of an american soldier, he will make a point of speaking about brussels right away. there was even some talk this morning from at least a lot of political analysts wondering if the president should not come back to washington. he's in the middle of a big trip. he moves on to argentina later totoy and by all indications the president is keeping his schedule. it doesn't matter where he is, he can address the world and the american people and the cuban people from where he is today. >> here is president obama in the
>> standing o ovation. >> thank you so much. thank you very much.president castro, the people of cuba, thank you so much for the warm welcome tt i have received, that my family has received and that our deligation has received. it is an extraordinary honor to be here today. before i begin please indulge me, i want to comment on the terrorist attacks that have taken place in brussels. the thoughts and the prayers of the american people are with the people of belgium. we s snd in solidarity with them in condemning these outrageous attacks against innocent people. we will do whatever is necessary to support our friend and ally, belgium in bringing to justice those who are responsible and
the world must unite. we must be together. regardless of nationality or race or faith in fighting against the scourge of terrorism. we can and we will defeat those who threaten the safafy and security of people all around the world. >> to the government and the people of cuba, i want to thank you fo the kindness that you have shown to me and michelle, malia, sasha, , mother-in-law, marianne. >> [ speaking foreign language ] [ applause ] >> in his most famous poem, jose marti made this offering of
friend and his enemy. today as the president of the united states of america i offer the cuban people [ speaking foreign language ] [ applause ] >> havana is only 90 miles from florida. but to get here we had to travel a great distance. over barriers of history and ideology, barriers of pain and separati. the blue waters beneath air force one once carried ameriran battle ships to this island. to liberal standard rate but also -- liberal standarderate. the waters also carried cuban revolutionary to the united
fo their cause. >> in that short distance it's been crossed byundreds of thousands of cuban ex aisles, on planes, and makeshift rafts. who came to america in pursuit of freedom and opportunity, sometimes leaving behind everything they owned and every person that they loved. like so many people in both of our countries my lifetime has expand a time of isolation between us. the cuban revolution took place the same year that my father came to the united states from kenya. the bay of pigs took place the year that i was born. the next year the entire world held its breath watching the two countries as humanity came as
horror of nuclear war. as the dececes rolled by our government settled into an seamlessly endless confrontation. fighting battles through proxies. >> in a world that remade itself time and again. one constant was the conflict between the united states and cuba. i have come here to bury the last remnant of the cold war in the americas. [ applause ] i hav come here to extend the hand of friendship to the cuban people. >> i want to be clear. the differences between our governments over these many years are real and they are important. i'm sure president castro would
i know because i've heard himim address those differences at length. but before i discuss those issues, we also need to recognize how much we share. because in many ways the united states and cuba are like two brothers who have been estranged for many years even as we share the same blood. >> we both live in a new world colonized by europeans. cuba like the united states was built in part by slaves brought here from africa. like the united states the cubun people can trace their heritage to both slave and slave owners. we welcomed bothmmigrants who came a great distance to start new lives in the americas. ofer the years our cultures have
dr. carlos' work in cuba paved the way for generations of doctors, including walter reed, who drew on dr. findldl's work to help combat yellow fever. just as marti wrote some of his most famous words in new york, earnest hemingwayayound a home in cuba. >> we share a national pastime. and later today our players will compete on the same havana field that jackie robinson played on before he made his major league debut. and it is said that our greatest boxer michelle mohammed ali, that
draw with the great stevenson. >> or even as our governments became adversaries our people continued to share these common passions. particularly as so many cubans came to america. in miami or havana, you can find places to dance the cha or salsa. people in both of our countries have sung along with gloria estaban and now listen to pit bull. millions of our people share a common religion. a faith that i paid tribute to at the shrine of our lady of charity in miami. a peace that cubans find. for all of our differences, the cuban and american people share a
a sense of patriotism and a accepts of pride. a lot of pride. a profound love of family. a passion for our children. a commitment to their education. and that's why i i believe our grandchildren will look back on this period of isolation as an aberration, as just one chapter in a longer story of family and of friendship. but we cannot and should not ignore the ver real differences that we have about how we organini our governments, our economies and our societies. cuba has a one party system. the united states is a multi party democracy. cuba has a socialist economic model. the united states is an open market. cuba has emphasized the role and rights of the state.
the rights of the individual. despite these differences, ondecember 17, 2014, president castro and i announced that the united states and cuba would begin a process to normalize relations between our countries. [ applause ] >> since then we've established diplomatic relations and opened embassies. we've begun initiatives to cooperate on health and agriculture, education and law enforcement. we've reached agreements to restore direct flights and mail service. wee expanded commercial ties and increased the capacity of amererans to travel and do business in cuba. and these changes have been welcomed. even though they're still opponents to these policies.
of this debate have asked, why now? why now there's one simple answer. what t t united statessas doing wasot working. we have to have the courage to acknowledge that truth. a policy of isolation designed for the cold war made little sense in the 21st century. the embargo was only hug the cuban people instead of helping them. d i've always believed in what martin luther king, jr. called theeierce urgency of now. we should do not fear change. we should dodo embrace is. [ applause ] that leads me to a bigger and more important reason for these changes.
believe in the cuban people. this is not just a policy of normalizing relations with the cuban government. the united states of america is normalizing relations with the cuban people. [ applause ] >> and today i want t t share with you my vision of what our future can be. i want the cuban people, especially the young people, to understand why i believe that you should look to the future with hope and not the false promise which insists that things are better than they really are or the blind optimism that says all yo problems can go away tomorrow. hope that is rooted in t future that you can choose and that you can shape and that you can build for your country. i'm hopeful because i believe that the cuban people are as involuntary i innovative as any
in a global economy powered by ideas and information. a country's greatest asset is its people. in the united states we have a clear monument to what t t cuban people can build. it's called miami. here in havana we see that same talent. in cooperate actives and old cars that still run. [ speaking foreign language ] [ applause ] >> cuba has an extraordinary resource, a system of education which values every boy and every girl. [ applause ] and in recent years the cuban
to the world and to open up more space for that talent to thrive. in just a few years we've seen how they can succeed while sustaining a distinctly cuban spirit. being self-employed is not about becoming more like america, it's ababt being yourself. look at [ speaking foreign language ] who chose to start a small business. cubans she said, can innovate and adapt without losing our identity. our secret is not in topping or i am dating, but simply being ourselves. look at the barber whose success allowed him to improve conditions in his neighborhood. i realize i'm not going to softball all the world's problems, he said, but if i can softball problems in the little
it can ripple across havana. >> that's where hope begins. with the ability to earn your own living and to build something you can be proud of. that's why our policies focus on supporting cubans instead of hurting them. that's why we got rid of limits on remittances, so order cubans have more resources that's why we're encouraging travel which will build bridges between our people and bring more revenue to those cuban small businesses. that's why we've opened up space for commerce and exchanges so that americans and cubans can work together to find cures for diseases and create jobs and open the door to more opportunity for the cuban people.as president of the united states, i've called on our
[ applause ] it is an outted burden on the cuban people. it's a burden on the americans who want to work and do business or invest here in cuba. it's time to -- lift the embargo. but even if we lifted the embargo tomorrow, cubans would not realize their potential without continued change here in cuba. [ applause ] >> it should be easie to open a business here in cuba. a worker should be able to get a job directly with companies who invest here in cuba. two currencies shouldn't separate the type of salaries that cubans can earn. thth internet should be available across the island so that cubans can connect to the wider world and to one of the greatest
history. >> ^here's no limitation from the united states on the ability of cubato take these steps. it's up to you. and i can tell you as a friend that sustainable prosperity in the 21st century depends on education, healthcare and vironmental protections, but it also depends on the free and open exchange of ideas. if you can't access information online, if you can not be exposed to different points of view, you will not reach your full potential. and over time the youth will lose hope. i know these issues are sensitive, especially coming from an american president. before 1959 some americans saw
ignored poverty, enabled corruption. and since 1959 we've been shadow boxers in this battle of geo politics and personalities. i know the history, but i refuse to be trapped by it. >> [ applause ] >> i'vee made it clear that the united states has neither the capacity nor the intention to impose change on cuba. what changes come will depend upon the cuban people. we will not impose our political or economic system on you. we realize that every counter, every people must chart its own course and shape its own model. but having removed the shadow of history from ourelationship, i must speak honestly about the things that i believe. the things that we as americans
as marti said, liberty is the right of every man to be honest. to think and speak without hipocracy. >> let me tell you what i beeve. i can't force you to agree, but you should know what i think. i believe that every person should be equal under the law. every child deserves the dignity at comes with education and healthcare and food on the table and a roof over their heads. i believe citizens should be free to speak their mind without fear. to organaze and to criticize their government and to protestor peaceful protest peacefullily. >> and the rule of law for thoho people who exercise those rights. i believe that every person should have the freedom to
and publicly. and yes, i believe voters should be able to choose their governments in free and democratic elections. [ applause ] >> not everyboby agrees with me on this. not everybody agrees with the american people on this, but i believe those human rights are universal. [ applause ] >> i b bieve they are the rights of the american people, the cuban people and people around the world. now there's no secret that our governments disagree on many of these issues. i've had frank conversations with president castro. for many years he has pointed out the flaws in the american system. economic inequality, the dath penalty, racial discrimination, wars abroad. that's just a sample.
but here's what the cuban people need to understand. i welcome this open debate and dialogue. it's good. it's healthy. i'm not afraid of it. we do have too much money in american politics. but in america it's still possible f somebody like me, a child who was raised by a single mom, a child of mixed race who did not have a lot of money to pursue and achieve the highest office in the land. that's what's possible in america. [ applause ] >> we do have challenges with racial bias in our communities, in our criminal justice system, in our society. the legacy of slavery and segregation. but the fact that we have open debates within america's own democracy is what allows us to get better. in 1959 e y yr that my father moved to america, it was illegal
was white in many american states . when i first started school we were still struggling to desegregate schools across the american south. but people organized. they protested. they debated these issues. they challenged d dosit officials and because of those protests and because of those debates and because of popular mobile station i'm able to stand here today as an african-american and as president of the united states. that was because of the freedoms that were afforded in the united states. that we were ae to bring about change. i'm not saying this is easy. there's still enormous problems in our society. but democracy is the way that we softball softball them. that's how -- that's how we made enormous gains in women's rights
it's how we address the inequality that couldn't traits at the top of our society, because workers can organize and ordinary people have a voice. american democracy has given our people the opportunity to pursue their dreams and enjoy a high standard of living. there's still some tough fights. it isn't always pretty, the process of democracy. it's often frustrating. you caca see that in the election going on back home. but just stop and consider this fact about the american campaign that's taking place right now. yoyo had two cuban-americans in e republican party running against the legacy of a black man o was president while arguing that they're the best person to beat the d emocratic nominee who will either be a woman or a democratic socialist.
that's a measure of our progress as a democracy. [ applause ] >> so here's my m msage to the cuban government and the cuban people. the ideals that are the starting point for every revolution, america's revolution, cuba's revolution, the liberal standard race movements around the world, those ideals find their trueest expression i belilve in democracy. not because american democracy is perfect, but precisely because we're not. and we like every country need the space that democracy givesus to change. it giviv individuals the capacity to be catalysts to think in new ways and to reimagine how our
them better. and there's already an evolution taking place inside of cuba. a generational change. many suggested that i come here and ask the people of cuba to tear something down. but i'm appealing to the young people of cuba who will lift something up,p build something new. [ speaking foreign language ] [ applause ] to president castro, who i appreciate being here today, i want you to know, i believe my vivit here demonstrates youou do not need to fear a threat from the united states. and given your commitment to cuba's sovereignty and self determination, i am also confident that you need not fear the different voices of the cuban people and their capacity to
in fact, i'm hopeful for the future because e trust that the cuban people will make the right decisions. and as you do, i'm also confident that cuba can continue to play an important role in the hemisphere and around the globe. and my hope is that you can do so as a partner with the united states. we've played very different roles in the world, but no one should deny the service that thoususands of cuban doctors have delivered for the poor and suffering. >> [ applause ] >> last year american healthcare workers and the u.s. military
to save lives and stamp out ebola in west africa. i beeve we should continue that cooperation in other countries. we've been on the different side of so many conflicts in the americas, but today americans and cubans are sitting together at the negotiating table and we are heheing the colombian people the civil war that's dragged on for decades. that kind of cooperation is good for everybody. it gives everyone in this hemisphere hope. we took different junior knees to our support for the people of south africa and ending a parteid. but president castro and i could both be there to pay tribute to the legacy of the great nelson mandela. [ applause ] and in examine his life and his
we have more work to do to promote equality in our own countries. to reduce discrimination based on race in our own countries. and in cuba we want our engagement to helel lift up the cubans who are of african descent, who have proven there's nothing they cannot achieve when given the chance. we've been a part of different blocks of nations in the hemisphere, and we will continue to have profound differences about how to promote peace, security, opportunity and human rights. but as we normalize our relations, i believe it can help foster a greater sense of unity in the americas. [ speaking foreign language ] [ applause ] >> from the beginning my time in
americas to leave behind the ideological ideas of the past. we're in a new era. i know that many of the issues that i have talked about lack the drama of the past and i know that part of cuba's identity is its prid income a small island nation that could stand up for its rights and shake the world, but i also know that cuba will always stand out because of the talent, hard work and pride of the cuban people that's your strength. [ applause ] >> cuba doesn't have to be defined by being against the united states any more than the united states should be defined by being against cuba. and i'm hopeful for the future because of the reconciliation that's taking place among the cuban people. you know, i know that for some
a sense that those who left someho supported the old order in cuba. i'm sure there's a narrative that lingers here which suggests that cuban exiles rejected the problems of prerevolutionary cuba and struggleded to build a future.but i can tell you today that so many cuban exiles carry a memory of pnful and sometimes violent separation. they love cuba. a part of them still considers this their true home. that's why their passion is so strong that's why thehe heart ache is so great. and for the cuban-american community that i have come to know and respect, this is not just about politics. this is about family.
the desire to rebuild a broken bond. the hope for a better future, the hope for return and reconciliation. for all of the politics people are people and cubans are cubans. and i've come here, i've traveled this distance on a bridge that was built by cubans on both sides of the florida straits. i first got to know the talent and passion of the cuban people in america. and i know how they have suffered more than the pain of exile. they also know what it's like to be an outside examiner to struggle and to work make sure their children can reach higher in america. the reconciliation of the cuban people, the children and grandchildren of revolution and
exile, that is fundamental to cuba's future. [ applause ] you see it in gloria gonzales who traveled here in 2013 for the first time after 61 years of separation. and was met by her sister, yerka. you recognize me, but i didn't recognize you, aloria said after shembraced her sibling. imagine that, after 61 years. you see it in melinda lopez who came to her family's old homeand as she was walking the streets, an elderly woman recognized her as her mother's daughter. and began to cry. she took her into her home and showed her a pile of photos that included melinda's bab picture
years ago. melinda later said soo many of us are now getting so much back. you see it in christian miguel solara. a young man who became the first of his famamily to travel here after 50 years and meeting relatives for the first time he said, i realize that family is family no matter the distance between us. sometimes the most important changes start in small places. the tides of history with leave people in conflict and exile and it takes time for the circumstances to change, but the recognition of a common humanity, the reconciliation of people bound by blood and a belief in one another, that's where progress begins.
forgiveness. and if the cuban people face the future together, it will be more likely that the young people of today will be able to live with dignity and achieve their dreams right here in cuba. the history of thenited states and cuba encompass revolution and conflict, struggle and sacrifice, retri buti on and now reconciliation. it is time now for us to leave the past behin it is time to look forward to the future together. [ speaking foreign language ] and it won't be easy and there will be setbacks and it will take time. but my time here in cuba renews my hope and my confidence in what the cuban people will do. we can make this journey as friends and as neighbors and as family together.
president obama with a verer empowering speech. it started about half an hour ago. this was a full half hour speech.leaving a leg's, -- legacy, mentioning the word hopop over and again. >> not only speaking to the cuban people but also addressing exiles here in the united states and peppering his speech a little bit with spanish, which i thought was a a ttle better than it has been in the past couple of days. michael, what do you think? >> well, i think that he had objects sprinkled those spanish phrases very carefully into the speech and had rehearsed them. the one that i liked that translated into english is t t future of cuba is in the hands of its people. at that point, in fact, he said,been counsel eled to have a tear down this wall moment. and what he said essentially was, no, let's build a friendship and
it was a speech of reconciliation i think was the real theme of the speech. >> he cited the many commonality between cubans and cuban-americans and then he got into the differences and frankly i thought that was the most fascinating part of the speech whe he had to talk about human rights and when he did, he prefaced it by saying, here is what i think. he made a real pernal philososhy of the basic human rights that he says all people enjoy or should enjoy. >> we wished we could have seen raul castro's face as the president was basically speaking right to him. you're right michael, he made it very personal. he took it as his personal belief, but he was so open and friendly to the cuban people it wasis way of saying as strongly as he could, that you need to have free and open exchange of ideas. i can tell you as a friend you ne this or you cannot move forward into the next century. >> and he didn't hold up
democracy as something that's perfect. he said a democracy here in america, worst than all is still the way that americans can at least resolve their problems and sa that democracy is something the people achieve but ty have to achieve it themselves. in fact at onpoint when we were watching the speech there was a double box where you could see not only what we were watching here in the united states but also what the cuban people were watching. there was just a little bit of a delay, but from what we understand the cuban people were able to watch this speech in its entirety. >> and he really spoke to them, michael, didn't he, over and again, he spoke directly to t t cuban people to make it very clear that he is a frien the united states is a friend, there's nothing to fear. >> exactly. he also at the same time was speaking to cubans in this country and certainly in our mmunity, but to the cubans on the island, i think that t ts message was just so powerful. citizens should be free to speak their minds free willing. he said they should be able to
they should choose their own governmentnt they should do it freely in open elections. for the president of the united states t tbe standing in a great historic landmark which i'm told has been renovated since i was there many years ago, but to have the president speaking to the cuban people in a tone of reconciliation. >> he said i know there's history, but i refuse to be apped by it. he also talked about miami. do you want to see what the cuban people can do? look at miami. so he definitely was talking about that. > and the cuban exiles building miami. he referred to -- he jus really bonded with people. talking about gloria estefan. reminding them about the religious ties to miami.
the cuban exiles have built here. it was always that tie to miami. >> calvin hughes our friend and colleague is on the phone now from havana. calvin, what did you think of the speech? i think, michael, he touched on just about every single issue and even at times becoming quite emotional. the two stories that he told of the families coming together, relatives seeing each other, not having seen each other in so long, and the president also touching on the fact that he believes in the cuban people and their talent. he even touched on t t issue of race too, talking about his background and his background, despite the fact that his mother is -- was white and his father was black and the fact that they came together and even back then when they were together, it was illegal for mother and father to discrimination going to school and despite all of that, he was
united states. he talked about the potentialalf the cuban people. he really wanted to connect, i think, with the cuban people by knowing that he has a venue. a channel of being able to talkk with them live on television, uninterrupted on cuba state run television. it was truly just unbelievable to see that happening. the first time an american president has done that in this country. >> and part of the power, i think, for the cuban people, we have to realize is that the majority of people on that island are afro-cuban. they are black and to have a man who describes himself as you say, i am african-american, the son of a white mixed race, white mother, black father from kenya, to have a man self-described african-american saying these things, i just think under lines its importance. >> i think michael -- and i think you know me well enough, being my newsroom neighbor and laurie and
that i don't want to ever make the news about me, but i will tell you a quick story of what happened last night. the president has been in old havana several times as you know, even as recent as last night around 3:00, 4:00, 5:00, but we were able to go to dinner after our 6:00 newscast and as we were walking the cobble streets. people were saying, obama, obama, it was a funny moment. think of this. many of those people who talked around and looked and said obama, obama, obama, were a afro cuban. and one even walked up to our photographer and said, if you need help with your camera tomorrow covering mr. obama, he says i would love to help you out. because we love him. we love his charisma, so i only tell you that story just to -- just to emphasize the point that the people here, the afrcubans especially, they love president
his popularity rating is through the roof. more popular than pope francis here on the island. it's estimated about 65% of the pop layer is afro-cuban. >> i i thought the most powerful part of his speech when he mentioned mlk and said why am i doing t ts? i said i believe in what martin luther king, jr. said, the fierce urgency of now. and then as janine was mentioning, he did talk about the faults of democracy, but when he told the story of himself, he said only in a dememracy could i become president. and giving his past. that w w powerful. >> and he explained that the united states and cuba are like estranged brothers. they have a history of slave labor, a histoto of immigration. a hihiory of even enjoying the same national past time which is seball. and i think all of that is under scored by the president being le to speak to them and saying, hey, i am very similar to you and this is what we were able to
democracy here in the united states. >> and the over riding message here, the president delivered thisisorning is the past is the past. let's look to the future. he said, quote, it is time now to leave the past behind. let's make this journey together. his campaign for president, of course, the motto was, yes, we can, and in sense, that is the exact translation in spanish is, yes, we can. >> it's very powerful at the beginning when he said i have come here to bury the last remnants the cold war in the americas. i have come hereo extend the hand of friendship to the cuban people. and in fact the u.s. a cuba are like two brothers have been estranged for years. calvin, there was just that relatable sense and the president did a very good job by sharing his personal story, including his racial struggles to relate to the cuban people. >> i think, you kw, we here were really interested in hearing
touch on the issuing of human rights and how he was going to have the delicate dance of talking about democracy. and i think he struck the right tone of not sounding -- but explaining that it is okay that certain inalienable rights are given to americans that are not given to cubans here. he talked about, look, i can't force you to do this, but, he says, every person is still under the law in america. that theshould have food on their table, that they should be able to speak their minds without fear, that they should be able to criticize their governnent, that the rule of law should not be in a place where if you practice your faith that you are going to be thrown behind bars. you should have -- >> calvin, i think we have lost our connection. come back with us when you can. before we leave you, i do want to say that i think the cuban people are going to be very receptive to